Family Relationships - Enjoying Not Enduring
Steve Uppal was born in Wolverhampton in 1974. At the age of five he gave his life to the Lord. It was prophesied that he would travel the world preaching and at thirteen he committed to a wholehearted Christian walk, challenging his friends to examine their lives and to commit totally to the Lord. They started to get together to pray and to read the Bible. By 1988 the group, led by Steve, began to feel challenged to take the “uncompromised gospel” to others. They called themselves “Christian Warriors.” They began to plan their evangelistic activities at weekends and at school holidays and were soon visiting churches and youth events up and down the country. Through the late 1990’s, Steve’s work with the Warriors grew to encompass a number of different activities. As well as becoming involved in local church leadership and youth networking, Steve founded a training school as a pilot programme for one year. In 1999, he began working on a part-time basis for CfAN as an events organiser - work which took him to Africa, to experience first-hand the impact of mass crusades. In November 2000 he began work as Associate Minister of All Nations Christian Centre in Wolverhampton, England, and in May 2001 he was asked to take on the role of Pastor. At All Nations he has brought a new vision to the church based on a “militant” Christianity that wants to see the Kingdom of God forcefully advanced across all nations. The “three pillars” of the church are now overseas missions, actively engaging with all levels of the community through social action, and the training and development of disciples. Steve is married to Esther. They have four children – Bethany, born in 1998, Sophia, born in 2000, Joel, born in 2003 and Judah born in 2005.View all articles by Steve Uppal
Importance Of Family
The dictionary defines family as, ‘a group of people living together and functioning as a single household, usually consisting of parents and their children’. God designed family relationships as a place of security, safety, learning and joy. People need people; we are created to enjoy relationships, to love and be loved. It is in such environments that we learn about life, values and how to respond to and handle other people. A well working family will offer a safe place of belonging, where children can grow, learn and have strong foundations laid for life.
But it doesn’t take much observation to see families have been under immense attack. Rick Joyner makes an intresting comment in his book the Final Quest:
"The primary strategy of the enemy is to cause division on every possible level of relationship. Churches with Churches, congregations and Pastors, husbands and wives, Parents and children, children with each other."
There has been a breakdown in the family unit. Couples have suffered in their relationship with each other, which in turn has had a huge impact on their relationships with their children. What should have been a safe, secure place to learn and grow in many places has become a battleground of hurt, pain and mistrust. So people grow up with hurt, bitterness and a wrong understanding about life and relationships.
Jesus said that the two greatest commandments are " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' Matthew 22:37-39. In other words love God an love people.
I want to give three simple keys to guarding your family relationships.
Firstly build a God centred home. There are many things you can have as the foundation of your home. Some choose the pursuit of happiness, some the pursuit of success, some have child centred homes and so on. But the most solid foundation you can lay is having the Lord at the centre of all you do.
Pray together as a family.
Read the Bible together.
Then build your home and relationships according to God’s pattern
You can choose the atmosphere in your home. Build by design not default.
Secondly, keep communication open and frequent. In many homes there is a breakdown of communication. People stop talking. Husband, wives keep talking. Learn to talk to your children and ask them questions about how they are feeling and what they may be going through. To keep communication open, honest and frequent good listeners are needed, who won’t judge or react but listen. Many problems arise because of unfulfilled expectations but the problem is those expectations are often not communicated, we just expect the other person to know what we are thinking.
Third point is quality time. For any relationship to remain healthy, quality time has to be given to it. Our world is getting busier and busier and if we do not plan and build our lives on purpose we will get caught up in the business of life. You will need to make regular time for your husband or wife, regular time with your children. A friend of mine calls this engineered space. We all need to engineer (plan) time with our loved ones.
In concluding this short article I would encourage you with one final point. Learn to laugh together. We don’t laugh enough!. Proverbs tells us that, ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones’ Proverbs 17:22. Laugh with your family and begin enjoying rather than enduring.
This Article Is Used With Permission
For more information, please visit Steve's Uppal All Nations Church website.